By Jacob Ajom
Judo: The Chief Executive Officer of Savannah Petroleum Company, Andrew Knott has expressed the readiness of his organisation to contribute to the growth and development of Nigerian sports in whatever way they can.
Knott said this in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom state capital during a two-day Judo event, the Accugas Judo Masterclass held at the luxurious Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort February 1 and 2.
Speaking to journalists, Mr Knott, who incidentally, is a judoka and took active part in the event as one of the athletes said, “we are really happy that this initiative has come to reality. There are over 50 kids here and an equal number of adults undergoing this training under some of the best coaches in the world.”
He continued, “it is a project we believe makes sense as the coaches and athletes are here to learn new techniques, imbibimg in them the virtues of hardwork and determination in all they do. I am really happy that there is a great potential here and as part of our corporate social responsibility, we create such events from time to time to better the fortunes of the younger ones.”
Billy Cusack and Sarah Clark who are Judo instructors from the Edinburgh Judo Club were in Uyo for a two-day clinic in which they delivered instructive lessons to judokas and coaches on the techniques of the sport.
The technical director of the Judo Federation of Nigeria and chief coach of the Akwa Ibom Judo Association, Ewa Ekuta commended Accugas, a subsidiary of Savannah Petroleum Company, for bringing to the state some of the best Judo coaches in the world.
Coach Ewa said the Accugas Judo Masterclass which attracted Judo players from across the country was an important step in the development of the sport in the country.
“The presence of these two instructors here and what they have been able to impart in the elite players is quite interesting.This programme is meant for the elite athletes. That is why we brought 4 to 6 athletes in each category to attend so that they can learn modern ways of how they do it in Europe. It is very important.”
On his part, President of the Nigeria Judo Federation, Prince Timothy Nsirim praised the efforts of the sponsors, Accugas and challenged other corporate bodies to emulate their gesture.
“My gratitude goes to the sponsors of this programme Accugas who have taken it upon themselves to organise this all important event which will have a lasting impact on our Judokas. If other multinational operating in this country can emulate this gesture, there will be peace in the country.